I had an opportunity yesterday to attend an international teleconference/webinar on the web, presented by genealogy site MyHeritage.com. It was a great way to see and listen to presenters who were 5,500 miles away. I didn't even have to ride on an airplane! Most of the presentation was made by the founder and CEO of MyHeritage, Gilad Japhet.
MyHeritage now has more than one billion profiles. (You can see the announcement at http://goo.gl/4pbvy.) That's profiles, not customers. It is a remarkable achievement for a company that was started in Japhet's home only seven years ago. Now there are 63 million members who have created 23 million family trees and on those trees there are one billion profiles. The site now works in 38 languages and users from around the world have uploaded 150 million photos and images to illustrate their family history.
The company acquired family history sites WorldVitalRecords and FamilyLink in November 2011 and in April this year it started providing access to the 1940 U.S. Census free of charge. Of course, MyHeritage is not resting on their laurels. To celebrate that announcement, the site is also releasing some interesting new features in the next few months for genealogical research.
The company announced SuperSearch, which is currently available in beta, where users can search the catalogue of historical archives. In fact, SuperSearch does search for more than just names. The feature will extract names, dates, and places from your genealogy database and then search for likely matches in the database of historical archives. It will usually display "plausible matches." That is, matches for people of the same (or similar) names who were in the same place in the same years as the individuals in your database.
MyHeritage already provides linguistic translation of names so users can track the international spread of families as well. The software in MyHeritage already knows that John in English is the same as Jean in French while Jacob in English is the same as יעקב in Hebrew.
Another upcoming service called Record Matching which will allow users to search newspaper archives and yearbook entries for added information. The newspaper records provide a collection of 120 million pages and there are 4 billion records over all.
Japhet said that in testing the Record Matching service returned results that were 98% accurate. That’s rather impressive given that some of the archive data can go back hundreds of years.
MyHeritage is a "freemium" web site. That is, all of the basic service is available free of charge but some of the more advanced features and options are available only to those who pay a fee.
You can learn more about MyHeritage in the video below:
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